Sunday, September 28, 2008

Drivers in Central Europe

They are all mad.

I have never seen anything like it. Pedestrian crossings are an invitation to become roadkill. People drive like insane boy-racers. The road-trip from Prague to Krakow was the longest mini-bus ride of my life. People actually overtake in the face of oncoming traffic in some sort of universal understanding that the oncoming drivers will slow down and yield if it doesn't quite work out as planned...

The mini-bus trip to Krakow also gave us our highest non-aircraft speed for the journey so far, 135kph on the Polish motorway (speed limit is 110).


And in case you're thinking - "well, I'm sure they have heightened awareness and are used to the chaos so it's just as safe as anywhere else" - well, I watched a car skid to a halt in front of a pedestrian crossing on a corner today as people ventured onto the road. This was after watching twenty or so other cars take the same corner with tyres squealing. I also watched a car narrowly avoid being crushed by a mini-bus on the way back from the salt mines. I also watched an intersection get completely blocked up by a car in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bad driving is everywhere.

This was in Poland, but it was almost as bad in the Czech Republic and Vienna.

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